Our book marking the
50th anniversary of the club is still available from A.M.Grieves,
Newsagents, High Street, Moffat. Alternatively you can order
by post and for this you should contact Iain directly for
an order form and pricing information. We also have souvenir
button badges (50p each) and car window stickers (£1.50
each) showing the new club logo. These are only available
from A.M.Grieves and, again, mail order can be accommodated
if you contact Iain.
If you wish to join our club (and
new members are very welcome) you can now download an application
form from here.
The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily
viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual
We have posted a warning regarding
a serious computer risk. It can be found in the 2013 archive
or by clicking on this link (computer
13th April 2014
Late March/early April update from Iain -
On the 22nd at the Reserve were 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Canada
Geese, 2 Greylag Geese flew over and a mixed flock of 3-400
Fieldfare and Redwing were around. While at Bankend Wood
on the 24th Dave Bradshaw saw a Grey Wagtail and Garry Tait
had a Peacock butterfly round Toot. Two days later an impressive
flock of 56 Whooper Swans were on the lochan at the Community
Reserve with 2 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe. Four Common
Gull were at the Reserve with a male Sparrowhawk and a few
Meadow Pipits passing over. While walking beside the River
Annan at Brydekirk on the 28th Anne and Howard Gibbard saw
some Sand Martins and an Otter. On the 30th I had a reliable
report of two Green Woodpeckers visiting a garden near Craigielands
at Beattock while a pair of Reed Buntings were at another
garden at Meadowbank Rise. On April 2nd a Sand Martin appeared
at the Reserve with 2 Chiffchaff calling. Many Pinkfeet
moving over and plenty Fieldfare and Redwing in the area
too. At the Community Reserve on the 4th were 4 Shoveler
and the first Osprey arrived back up Moffat Water. Scott
and Janet Little saw the first Swallow along the cycle track
at Beattock on the 8th. The following day at the Reserve
were 2 Sand Martins and 7 Canada Geese and a Cormorant flew
over with 3 Chiffchaff calling. I saw an Osprey near Crawford
on the 10th and on Saturday 12th at the Reserve there were
5 Sand Martin, 4 Swallows moving through and still Chiffchaff
but no Willow Warblers yet. The Canada Goose is sitting
tight on her nest at our reserve and the Oystercatchers
are still showing interest in the new gravel island. A ringed
Lesser Redpoll was in a garden at Meadowbank Rise among
a small flock of 4 Lesser Redpoll and many Siskins.
This will be the last update for two weeks - John off to
Italy again - so just a reminder that our Coffee Morning
is on Saturday, 3rd May at 10.30am. We greatly value your
support so please come along and bring plenty of cash to
5th April 2014
Spring migration is well under way. Whooper Swans
passing through, various geese heading north, the first
Sandmartins have arrived, Chiffchaffs heard calling, etc.
A pair of Canada Geese seem to be taking up residence on
one of our islands, Oystercatchers are frequently overhead,
possibly evaluating the isalnds, but they haven't yet dispersed
for nesting. Most resident birds are either already nesting
or preparing to nest. Some good weather would help immensely!
27th March 2014
Have received the annual (2013) mammal report for
D&G from Andy Riches, the area mammal recorder. You
can view it by clicking here.
It is in PDF format so Adobe Acrobat Reader is required
to view it. Please allow time for it to load as it is quite
a large file.
15th March 2014
Despite the apparent absence of frogs in John's
pond, a considerable amount of spawn appeared overnight
from Wednesday/Thursday. Around 30 frogs appeared briefly
on Friday evening but no more spawn evident so far. Andy
Dickson reported lots of frogs on the road on his way in
to the club meeting on Friday evening. Some frog activity
and spawn on the Reserve ponds today.
Little new on the bird situation, a few more sightings of
Blackcap and first sighting of Wheatear so our summer migrants
are on the way. Expect to see Sandmartins any day now. Garry
reports that Ravens are already sitting on eggs. Animals
are also becoming more active, quite a few Badgers seen
around Ballplay Road lately.
11th March 2014
John had a male Blackcap in the garden yesterday.
Apparently one has been seen by Ann Murray in her garden
on Well Road over the past week or so, possibly the same
Dave Bradshaw saw two Hedgehogs feeding below his bird feeder
on Sunday morning so they are coming out of hibernation.
There are also a few sightings of Bumblebees on the go so
the fine days are bringing them out now.
Still very little frog activity at John's pond - only 3
or 4 seen so far.
9th March 2014
From Jean Hunter-Grant, Hoppertitty, Beattock on
Friday 7th - First appearance of frogspawn this morning
in both ponds in the garden and lots of frog activity. Last
year it was the beginning of April.
(No sign of frog activity yet down at the reserve or in
John's pond - shouldn't be long now)
1st March 2014
Jock Dicerbo, our President ever since the Wildlife
Club started in 1961, reached his 80th Birthday two
weeks ago (15th Feb). By way of a celebration, the committee
laid on a small get-together that night. We presented him
with a carving by Peter Bowsher depicting a Gannet, much
to his delight. There were numerous photos taken and these
have now become available so here is a very small selection
of them. It was unfortunate that not all committee members
were able to attend as, by all accounts, it was a very enjoyable
20th February 2014
Another update - last Sunday/Monday, Jean Hunter-Grant
while walking her dog Nell, spotted nine Grey Herons alight
from a small pond between Milton Farm and Murthat. Also
in the area was a small roost of 26 Starling using a fir
tree to roost in. This morning, 20th February, Garry Tait
was at the Community Reserve and there were 30 Oystercatchers,
with a dozen or so using the floating rafts, and 6 Lapwing
in the area which was good to see.
John noted today Song Thrushes singing away heartily, one
on the trees bordering Merkland & Greenwood Close, another
on the trees beside Mill Green on Well Road.
19th February 2014
There are signs that birds are starting to pair
off, a Woodpecker was heard drumming at Dyke Farm today
and a number of Oystercatchers were heard calling over the
town tonight. All signs that spring just might be on its
way - or is that wishful thinking?
Our Reserve Development page has been updated with a summary
of recent work.
18th February 2014
As most of you will be aware, this has been a very
quiet winter season for bird sightings. Here is a summary
from Iain on what little has been reported to him so far
this year -
Since the start of 2014 there have been a number of people
reporting very small numbers of Bramblings visiting their
gardens. On 6th January, Scott Little had 5 Lesser Redpoll
in his garden at Beattock. A fortnight later Scott saw two
Oystercatchers down the APR Road and Garry saw one passing
over Moffat on the 28th. Garry reported a number of Red
Kite sightings between Moffat and Lockerbie. Clive Ottowell
had two good sightings of a Green Sandpiper and a Water
Rail at Lochbrow on the River Annan near Johnstonebridge.
At the Reserve on the 29th two Raven flew over while a Kestrel
has been wintering in the area. On 1st February Grace Saunders
from Beattock reported a Brambling in her garden and on
the 7th Garry had a flock of 17 Brambling near The Yett
farm at Johnstonebridge. At the Community Reserve two or
three Oystercatchers have been using the floating rafts
while small numbers of waterfowl can be seen at times including
Mute Swans, Goosander, Cormorant and Tufted Ducks.
4th February 2014
Andy Riches has sent the annual reports for Castle
& Hightae Lochs for 2013. These have been posted and
you can view them here. They are all in PDF format so Adobe
Acrobat Reader is required.
& Hightae Loch LNR Report 2013
Maxima Castle Loch
Maxima Castle Loch
Andy is asking for any last records to go into the 2013
D&G County Mammal Report. If you have any records that
you want included that have not already been sent to him
then now is the time! Reports of all mammals, from mice
to stags, are welcomed - they all go to making up the full
picture. You can email reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also John has now posted his graphs for bird sightings
in Greenwood Close for the five years of 2009 through to
2013 and has expanded it a little from previous years. This
is also in PDF format.
The long spell of wet weather has hampered work down at
the reserve lately. However, numerous nestboxes have been
refurbished and put up, along with a number of brand new
ones. We have also made a start gravelling one of the islands
but this will be a long job!
On the wildlife front there has been very little to report.
Our winter visitors have been conspicuously absent this
year although still a few Fieldfare going about.
5th January 2014
The recent spell of atrocious weather has done no serious
damage on the reserve. There has been some flooding but,
beyond dislodging some pathway logs, has been fairly minor.
We have been painstaking in keeping our drainage ditches
clear and it looks as if that has made a huge difference.
Recent work (beyond replacing logs!) has been on replacing
old nestboxes and adding some new ones. The 'boys' seem
to be doing fine without John's help (suffering from a back
Numerous smallish flocks of geese were seen this morning
over Moffat, going in a northerly direction. It is likely
that their normal feeding areas are waterlogged and they
are seeking new ones. It is a bit early for migration yet.
11th December 2013
Another bird has been added to our lists - a Dipper
was seen on the reserve this morning. This is quite unexpected
as the habitat is not one that these birds are likely to
visit, they prefer fast flowing water..
All the earlier entries for 2013
have been moved to the Archives.